Newsletter #6 – Crisis-Proofing Your Freelance Business

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you”  Deepak Chopra 

Hola from beautiful Granada in Spain 💃 Thanks heaps to Katie for shouting me a  coffee  last week—you da best!

It’s hard to escape the constant news around layoffs in the last few months. This year there have been over 100,000 people laid off in the tech industry alone…and it’s only February 😬

In my freelancer groups, most people have lost at least one retainer client this year (myself included), while other big projects are getting regularly shelved or cancelled.

So…should you panic?

My answer is NO!

Panic is a wasted emotion in your freelance business.

Here’s why.

While we hear about the thousands of people losing jobs in January, nobody is talking about the fact that investors were out there funding companies to the tune of $31 billion last month, which is the highest funding amount recorded since June 2022.

And you can bet a lot of that money is going to be allocated to marketing budgets.

Which is good news for freelance writers *evil chuckle*

But as I mentioned a few weeks back, these opportunities are unlikely to fall into your lap by sheer luck. You have to  go out and grab them .

5 tips to crisis proof your business

If you ARE panicking a bit about things being quiet in Client Land right now, here’s a few steps you can take to keep your mind focused.

These are essential things to have in place in your business both now, and for future crises such as a major financial recession, illness, and other unexpected crap that might happen in your solo biz.

A quick reminder: it’s absolutely NORMAL for freelance income to go up and down like crazy. You just need to learn how to roll with the ebbs and flows so they don’t affect you as much.

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1. Keep pitching

The worst thing you can do when you’re in crisis mode is to stop generating leads. Millions of businesses need copywriting help, even if the news (and other freelancers) are trying to convince you it’s dead out there.

If you’ve hit a quiet patch and you’re struggling, start pitching today. Don’t rely on social media posts to get you clients, it’s too slow and unreliable.

Get into people’s inboxes and DMs and start offering them services and value.

Here’s a few resources you might find useful:

2. Don’t run out of $

I advise all freelancers to start a savings account that will pay the bills and keep food on the table for 3-6 months.

When you’ve got a lot of work on and have spare cash, prioritize putting as much as humanly possible into an interest-bearing account until you’ve hit that goal. You can thank me later 😊

Think about the things you’re buying when you’re flush with cash. Do you really need them? Or would this money be better going into savings to build your financial safety net?

A savings cushion will take a ton of stress away when sh*t hits the fan, or you end up with a big gap in client work.

If you’re like me, and you worry more than most people, hit that savings account hard and aim to get 6+ months of living expenses in the bank.

3. Create multiple income streams

Being reliant on a single revenue stream is always stressful.

Outside of your freelance client work, you should have other things in place that bring in cash.

It doesn’t need to be a ton of cash—even having a few extra dollars a month trickling in from here and there makes a difference.

This could come from things like:

  • Creating and selling digital products
  • Blogging ad/affiliate revenue
  • Consulting/coaching calls
  • Investment dividends

4. Find a great anchor client

This can be a retainer client, someone who regularly sends work your way on a more casual basis, or a client with a big project that will take several months.

Having your financial baseline covered every month is a huge weight off your mind.

P.S. Your anchor clients are also great people to ask for referrals!

5. Stay positive!

As I mentioned above, try not to panic if you feel like you’re in crisis mode.

Clients can smell panic and desperation on a freelancer from the other side of the planet.

I imagine we might smell like a damp, shaggy dog who’s also rolled in some 💩

If you’re on social, remember to curate what you post when you’re in crisis mode.

It’s tempting to post negative, bitter rants for sympathy and engagement—but believe me, your potential clients are always watching what you write (that’s why you’re on social in the first place, right?), and they’ll be less inclined to work with someone that’s out there being negative and mopey.

Save the panic posts for your private freelancing groups—which are the ideal place to rant and rage about any and all of your problems, with people who totally get it!

Memes Of The Week

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Thanks for reading!

Anything you’re stuck on? Need some specific advice about your freelancing biz? Just hit reply to this email—I reply to everything 🙂

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